Produced by piXiu films and helmed by award-winning director Reto Caduff, the feature legth documentary “Charlie Haden” presents the life and work of the fascinating american musician, bandleader, composer, producer, educator, political activist and family man Charlie Haden.
Throughout his career, Haden has constantly sought to transcend the boundaries of modern music. Widely considered to be among the greatest ever jazz bassists, Haden has contributed pivotal music to a stunning scope of genres: avant-garde, small group, big band, world music, folk and gospel, to name but a few.
Haden’s deep resonance and rich melodicism helped Ornette Coleman introduce free jazz in the ’60s. And it is his collaboration with Coleman that has put Haden on the map ever since. In a career spanning five decades by now, Haden continues to create music that is at once revolutionary and uplifting. “I want to expand jazz,” he says. “I don’t want to keep the audience limited. I want to reach people who have never come to a jazz concert before. One way to do that is by making records that have a lot of different kinds of music on them.” Music that comes from deep within the hearts of those involved resulting in something unique and unprecedented. For Charlie Haden, that instinctive, imaginative approach has been long been his guiding philosophy towards both life and music. The film dives not only into the fascinating life story of Haden but tries to get close to this philosophy and how it translates into his approach in creating music. Charlie Haden explains: “I try to bring together musicians that can make magic, and I’m usually right. It’s not so much the combination as it is the individual and their values. When I find a musician that has the same values as I do, I want to make music with him.”
This reminded director Reto Caduff of the similar way he works on his films: “as in film, the way Charlie approaches a project is as a collaborative journey – where the quality can only ever be as good as the sum of its parts. With the right people on board, in the right place at the right time you can create amazing stuff.”
From the get-go it was clear for both director and subject that the film has to go beyond the generic filmed music story: an intimate look at the music and life of one of Jazz’ most inspiring and influential musicians. With access to Haden’s own personal archive, film sequences shot during concerts and recording sessions, interviews with an incredible selection of friends and collaborators and great archival footage, the documentary will please diehard jazz fans as well as the newly initiated.